Lets talk about a realistic shot list.
Hi, im Sarah Lillich a North Alabama Wedding photographer and I am here to ease the confusion and stress about your wedding photography shot list. Let me first start by explaining what a photography shot list is! This is a List of specific images you want to request from your photographer on your wedding day it usually consists of specific getting ready images, the number of first looks you want and who you want them with and any part of your day that a photographer wouldn't naturally photograph. So, to assist you in creating your list here are the
3 MOST IMPORTANT THINGS to keep in mind when planning your list.
Knowing your time limit.
When curating a photography schedule that will allow your day to flow smoothly that means knowing your time limit. Wedding photographers have a wide variety of coverage, the majority of them base packages off of "hours of coverage". This time limit is CRUCIAL to your photography shot list. Personally, I have a 6-hour, 8-hour, and a 10-hour package. My 6-hour brides have an extremely different photography schedule than my 10-hour brides, completely because of the time limit. Both brides still get what they're looking for but my 6-hour brides don't have the luxury of making changes last minute.
So, when you start to plan your photography shot list you need to have an idea of your time limit.
Knowing the basics.
This is a long one so hang in there. As a photographer I LOVE when my brides come prepared with a shot list. However, more often than not, the list is off of Pinterest...and woah, woah, woah... no hate towards Pinterest! However, most of those shot lists include basic shots that most photographers already include as a basic. The list you send to your photographer needs to have specifics, otherwise the importance of the image might get lost in the jungle of basic shots we already know to take. To save you time and ensure the most important images have a place to shine I am going to tell you what you don't have to worry about putting on your shot list. Keep in mind your photographer may want you to also include the "basics" that you want. I will show you how to do that without drawing attention away from your most important requests.
The rest of this section will be based off my procedure. This may not be the case for every photographer so before booking I
recommend speaking with your photographer about what they're looking for from you and what you're looking for from them!
Basics broken down.
1) Personally, I automatically assume every bride wants pictures of the venue, this is something I include in the rough draft for the bride by default. Venue Details include, The building(s), tables, chairs, signs, place settings, arbor, food, people preparing the day etc.
2) The Ceremony, now obviously this is subject to change but regarding the ceremony as a whole photographers know to picture the basics like, Procession, Recession, Guests, the bridal party, the bride being handed off, etc. With the semi-traditional ceremony slowing dwindling away this may soon NOT be something I automatically add by default. However for now it is here to stay!
3) Bride and Groom portraits....this one should be self explanatory but for the act of being thorough ill explain what these are! 1 on 1 pictures, Viel pictures, couple pictures etc. (see examples below)
4) Bridal party portraits, these include the formal posed pictures, the fun pictures, the 1 on 1 pictures with each bridesmaid and groomsmen and the what I like to call, organized chaos pictures!
Reiterating the basics.
Now, if you're looking for a way to share those specifics but also reiterate that you're still wanting the basics try saying something along the lines of...
Hey ______________________ I just sent you my specialty shot list of things I really want to have pictured on my wedding day. It is a pretty simple list because I figured you already have a standard shot list of the basics like the venue shots and the portraits of us and the family and our wedding party that you go off of. If you feel like i'm missing anything please let me know or if you need more from me i'd be happy to be more specific, thank you again!
Again, this is a specialty shot list. Therefore, it is very common for you to have a specific guest or specific thing you want pictured. So, when you're planning out your Wedding photography shot list a big rule of thumb is being SPECIFIC. Example, when you're explaining the first looks your wanting add their name, title, and where they will be or what time they will get there. If you have a specific article of clothing or piece of jewelry that you're wanting to give more attention to in pictures describe it like you've lost in and the person helping you look for it has never seen it. This allows us photographers to know who we are looking for or the value that piece of jewelry is to you. As photographers we get to tell stories with every image we take and knowing the background is what makes us capture the moment in the best way possible.
THERE YOU GO!
Now you are ready to create your photography shot list. I hope this helped! I will include the Pre-Ceremony and Reception shot list from the wedding that was used in this post for example. They had a 6- hour coverage and she did not do a first look so her B + G portraits were taken after the ceremony (post ceremony shot list not pictured)! You don't have to have one this pretty, it can be on a note in your phone or a word document. This is just something I like to make pretty for my clients and their day of coordinator!